Mile 2190.5-2226.5 (36.0)
Hiking by 6:45am, two miles to a slow piped spring. An easy climb up the side of a mountain, expansive views. Mt. Hood to the south, layers of anonymous mountains, Mt. Adams in view to the northeast.
Through the forest to muddy ponds and colorful lakes. Mosquitos come out, persuade me to keep hiking, only stop to get water. Flat trail, soft and cruisey, vaguely downhill. Lots of southbounders, some stop to chat.
Trail feels quiet and peaceful. At 6pm I come upon a packed campground, nobos and sobos colliding, a dozen hikers clustered. I stay for a minute but keep hiking. Just before dark, I reach the road to Trout Lake and set up camp.